A dog wearing a Christmas hat, and getting a treat

It’s time for rich, sumptuous holiday foods and treats. Yum! The anticipation of delicious meals, plates of cookies, and festive tables laden with special foods has most Americans jumping for joy. But planning for all the festivities of the season seldom includes thinking about holiday food dangers for pets, until they present a medical emergency. 

Nothing ruins a holiday celebration faster than a trip to the emergency veterinary hospital! Your team at Parkside Animal Hospital is here to help you avoid the risks to your pets this holiday season.

Just A Bite?

Even though you may be completely on board with no begging at the table, your favorite aunt or nephew may not be. It may be all too easy for a well meaning guest to sneak a bite of turkey or a spoonful of sweet potato casserole to your pet under the table. And if you have a baby, forget it! 

Unfortunately, this kind of indulgence for your pet may mean GI upset, a foreign body obstruction, or a painful and potentially life threatening condition called pancreatitis. 

Do you know which foods pose a problem? Many pet parents don’t. Here’s our list of holiday food dangers for pets. 

  • Raw meat
  • Cooked seasoned meats (especially the skin)
  • Bones
  • Gravy
  • Nuts, such as macadamias and walnuts
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Chives, onions, garlic
  • Alcohol
  • Fruit pits (plum, apricot, peach)
  • Raw bread dough
  • Chocolate
  • Xylitol (found in sugar free candy and gum)

Holiday Food Dangers For Pets

Pets can also be adept at sneaking leftovers, raiding garbage bins, and sneaking anything that falls on the floor. It’s important to be aware of the signs of a problem in your pet. 

Watch for:

Time is of the essence when treating a pet poisoning emergency. If you see any of these signs in your pet, or you suspect they may have eaten something toxic or poisonous, please take them to the nearest animal emergency hospital right away. 

Minimizing Holiday Food Risks 

Feasting and guests are usually unavoidable during the holidays. Here are some tips to ensure your pet stays safe:

  • Create a safe pet zone in a small bedroom or cozy laundry room, where your pet can relax during meals and parties
  • Ask guests to avoid feeding your pet scraps or leftovers
  • Scan the floors during meal prep and serving. It’s easy to drop a small piece of onion or other toxic food on the floor
  • Store leftovers in containers right away
  • Cover trash bins and/or keep trash and compost behind closed doors
  • Vacuum and sweep after guests leave to clean up any errant bits of food that pets might access

The holidays are a wonderful time of family, friends, and fun, but they do pose some health risks for our pets. Even if foods aren’t toxic, rich, fatty, salty and sugary foods can still cause mild to severe health issues. Be watchful and prepared at holiday time to minimize holiday food dangers for pets and have a merry pet-friendly holiday.

If you need any help or have questions, please don’t hesitate to give us a call